According to "Thoresby's Ducatus Ledienis"(2nd edition published in 1816), the earliest British record of the family name is that of Barnard Blythman, father of Thomas Blythman who

wpe50.jpg (55667 bytes)TITLE PAGE OF DUCATUS LEDIENIS, 1816

married the daughter of Sir Adam Stainburgh. "Morant's Essex, Volume II" states that " the Blythman family has flourished in Yorkshire for several generations. The first of the name was Barnard Blythman, living about the year 1175. His successors were Thomas, Richard, Henry ...".

While it has not been my good fortune to locate any sources confirming the above 1175 date, we do know for a fact that by the late 1500's the Blythman's were relatively numerous and widespread in England and Scotland. We find many references to the family name in the 16th and 17th centuries from printed records as well as church records, the oldest so far being from about 1530. Concentration of early Blythman's could be found in the Newcastle-Durham area, Leeds, London, Sussex as well as in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some of the early Blythman's were:

Halifax, Yorkshire, about 1530: Gesperi Blythemane
London, about 1545: Robertus Blithman
Edinburgh, Scotland, about 1555: William Blythman
Egham, Surrey, about 1565: Rychard Blythman

THE Bwpe51.jpg (28410 bytes)LYTHMAN COAT OF ARMS, CIRCA 1600.

Spelling variations of the name are plentiful up until the beginning of the 19th century when literacy started to take a foothold. In addition to to such obvious derivations as Blytheman and Blytherman, we find numerous references to Blithman, Blightman, Blethman, Blitheman, Blitman, etc. To the best of my knowledge the only surviving derivation in use today is the spelling Blightman which occurs both in Britain and in the United States.

A direct connection between the British Blythman family name and the German Blythmann (Blüthmann) has not been established. It is tempting to imagine a relationship; the names are identical for all practical purposes; the letter "ü" being commonly used in German in lieu of the anglicized "y". Thoresby's Ducatus Ledienis, quoted above, states that the (Blythman's) are "evidently of Saxon origin" but, of course, surnames were not in general use when the Saxons crossed the Channel.


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